20 great firefighter job oral interview questions

If you're looking to be hired or promoted, you'll want to prep for these go-to oral interview questions


The oral interview can be a nerve-racking experience, but with some basic preparation, you'll find yourself much better positioned to put your best foot forward. 

Use the questions below to help you better understand your strengths and weaknesses, identify examples of challenges you've overcome, and practice your communication skills. Keep in mind that these questions are just the beginning of the list, but if you master these, you'll have a better handle on your leadership style and how you can best address any query thrown your way.

On the flip side, if you're an officer who sits on a candidate review panel, the following list of questions is a great place to start in the process of getting to know each candidate's character.

Key interview questions

  1. Tell us a little about yourself and how your education, training and experience have qualified you for this position.
  2. What's an important value to you and give an example of how this value affects your life?
  3. Give an example of your loyalty to the fire department.
  4. Describe in your own words the key values of this fire department.
  5. What are three issues facing the fire service today?
  6. What is the weakest attribute you bring to this position, and what have you done to overcome it?
  7. What is the biggest challenge you will face in your new position?
  8. What is your strongest attribute?
  9. How do you motivate others?
  10. What style of leadership have you adopted?
  11. What do you feel are the main roles and responsibilities of this position?
  12. How would you deal with a policy change from management that you disagree with?
  13. In your opinion, what is the one glaring deficiency in your department and is there anything you feel you can do in this new position to correct or alleviate this deficiency?
  14. How do you go about resolving conflict?
  15. Why should we select you over other candidates?
  16. What do you bring to this position?
  17. Why do you want to promote?
  18. What does leading by example mean to you?
  19. What would your current supervisor say about you?
  20. What are your short- and long-term goals?

[Read next: 50 most common firefighter interview questions]

Note: This article, originally published in 2009, has been updated.

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